Video: What Goes Into A Professional DSLR Lens

Posted by on February 11, 2015

Nikkor Lens Technology Video

The technology that goes into a modern professional-level camera lens is amazing. Anyone who’s used or owned a top shelf Nikon, Canon or other high-end digital SLR lens knows what I’m talking about. The optics, materials, and performance are amazing. Yes – they are expensive. But they’re worth the money. Skeptical? Check out this Nikon promotional video (below) about what goes into a professional DSLR lens and see if it doesn’t change your mind.

Nikon Professional Lens Technology Video:

I’m sure spending $1000 or more on a lens seems excessive to most people – especially those who aren’t serious photographers. But when you see everything that goes into a pro lens – the precision moving parts, sophisticated optics, high-performance auto focus, image stabilization, etc. – it’s hard to imagine how they don’t cost more. At least it is for me. And while it’s true that even entry-level lenses are pretty damn good now, there’s nothing quite like a top-shelf lens. If you disagree, I’m guessing you’ve never had the opportunity to use one. Because once you do, it’s hard to accept anything less.

Where do you stand in regards to professional lenses – are they overpriced or are they worth the extra money? Do you own a professional-level DSLR lens? If so, which one(s) and how much did you spend? Please comment in the comments section, below.

3 Responses to Video: What Goes Into A Professional DSLR Lens

  1. Dave February 12, 2015 at 11:13 AM

    I’ve been very happy with the upgrade to my 70-200 L series Canon lens. It is a huge step up from the intermediate lens I had before.
    I wish however, that Canon would make an L series lens with as much range as my intro 18-135 or the 18-200. The 18-135 is my go to lens when shooting cycling because of the range on the bottom and the top end.

    • Photo-John February 12, 2015 at 3:02 PM

      Thanks for the comment, Dave. And I’m glad you like your 70-200mm L lens – especially since I think I pushed you to buy it 🙂

      I understand where you’re coming from regarding more versatile, longer-range zooms built to pro standards. I think there are two issues in the way. The first is size. If Canon made an 18-135mm IS zoom with a fast aperture and a pro build, it would probably be so big that it wouldn’t be practical. Take a look at the Canon 28-300mm L zoom, to see what I mean. That thing is huge. The other issue is economics. Pros generally want shorter zooms with f/2.8 or larger apertures. A pro version of the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 would be a hard sell to both pros and enthusiasts, I think. The pros would look down their nose at it because it’s a variable aperture lens. And anything that costs over $500 seems out of reach and ridiculous to amateurs. I do wonder what an 18-135mm f/4 IS L lens might look like, though. I’d be interested.

  2. Derek February 13, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Totally worth the money. You don’t have to be a pro photographer who earns a living or extra income from photography work to appreciate the quality of a pro-level lens.

    While the precision and craftsmanship with a pro-level lens may not be immediately tangible, the results will certainly open your eyes. Clarity, color, depth of field, high quality materials – just a few things that separate a pro-level lens from entry-level lenses.


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